The Chicago Organizer
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Clutter-free living. Many satisfied clients.

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Lessons learned from my personal relocation

Having just moved after 25 years of living in the same place, I have empathy for the experience my clients face with decluttering, packing, and moving. It’s hard work, emotional, and time consuming.

First, I packed up more than half of my home when I thought I was going to buy a condo. When it fell through, I unpacked all the boxes that had been packed for over 2 months. Then I made a second attempt at purging when I got realistic about my current lifestyle and realized I could get rid of a lot more stuff I didn’t need/use/love.

Lesson: It takes a few rounds to go through items to truly decide what to get rid of.

Because I had lived in only 950 square feet and packed well in advance of my move, I needed to stack boxes to the ceiling to maintain a flow in my living space. My packing was efficient vs. organized. I filled every box until they were full combining items from various rooms.

Lesson: It took a lot of extra work to unpack and get my new home organized. If you have space for more boxes it’s always better to pack each box only with items from a specific room.

Another lesson: I got very busy organizing clients during the peak moving season so I was very glad I packed myself far in advance. I wouldn’t have had time or energy for my own packing. Plus, there are a great many other details to take care of such as address changes for mail; contacting magazine subscriptions; setting up utilities; etc.

Because I organize for a living and knew what I’d probably need, I took advantage of sales and regularly checked high-end thrift shops to buy organizing items for my larger kitchen and bathrooms. They helped me organize in my new kitchen drawers and cabinets and under the bathroom sink.

Lesson: Buy items to help you stay organized only after you’ve gotten proper measurements of your new space. Depending on your cabinets, the basic must haves depending on your cabinets are: stackable shelves, tray dividers, lid holders, lazy susan, drawer organizers, utensil caddy, stacking plastic drawers.

Having not moved myself for so many years and with so much to do, even with all my professional experience, some things fell through the cracks. It took me three days to finish unpacking before I found my vitamins!

Lesson: Pack vitamins/pills and other daily essentials in an overnight or tote bag which you hand carry to your new home instead of packing them in a random box as I did!

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